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How To Make Angle Adjustments on the Lanes

If you are trying to learn how to make angle adjustments on the lanes, then kindly consider the following keys to guide you in hitting the pocket consistently:

1. Initial Alignment
2. Angle Change for Oily Lanes
3. Angle Change for Dry Lanes

Everything in learning how to make angle adjustments on the lanes begins with a good initial alignment. The lane oiling conditions are always the essential element in determining how to line up initially. Since lane conditions can vary from extremely dry conditions to very oily conditions or somewhere between and can vary during any given session on the lanes, making initial adjustments from your usual starting position and making additional adjustments while you are bowling are both necessary if you wish to bowl effectively and achieve good scores.

In most bowling centers, the oiling pattern during the day time hours will allow bowlers to line up somewhere around the second arrow or tenth board from the edges of the lane (right side for right handers, left side for left handers). Also, bowlers will typically place their alignment foot on or near the center "Dot" on the approach which corresponds to the 20 (twenty) board or the center board.

Placing the instep of the left shoe (for right handed bowlers) covering the 20 board will position the outside of the bowling shoulder very nearly in front of the 10 board or second arrow. Therefore, initial alignment on freshly oiled lanes usually means targeting or spotting the 10 board or very near that 10 board, perhaps at the 8 or 9 board or even the 11 board depending on the bowler.

If you use this alignment positioning when you begin all of your sessions on the lanes, then you will base angle adjustments from this initial alignment. Your initial alignment is a starting point and it is useful to begin with a consistent initial alignment position on the approach and make a few deliveries from that positioning until you warm up and reach your normal ball delivery speed. Then you can "read" the lane condition and make angle adjustments accordingly.

Once you feel you have the best of your available bowling balls in hand and you are not seeing your ball finish squarely in the pocket when you make a good delivery over your selected target board, then making adjustments by changing your angle to the pocket is the next step. Generally speaking, if your ball does not roll or hook soon enough due to excessive lane oil conditions and slides too far missing the pocket to the right (right handed bowlers - opposite for left handers), then adjust the positioning of your feet on the approach and your target on the lane to the right is a dependable adjustment.

A good technique is to move your feet two boards on the lane and your target with your eyes one board in the same direction and to the right on oily conditions so you automatically make an effective angle change and increase your chances of the ball hitting the pocket. Be sure to move both your feet and your target on the lane together and in the same direction. There are always exceptions to any rules of thumb such as 3:1 ratio adjustments or 1:1 ratio adjustments, but this angle change technique of 2:1 is effective and very useful for nearly all lane conditions.

Of course, the opposite is true for dry lanes. Move your feet two boards from your initial alignment positioning on the approach to the left (right handed bowlers) and your eyes one board left. This adjustment will increase your angle away from the pocket to compensate for the early hook you have encountered from dry lane conditions or from conditions which are breaking down during your session on the lanes.

Don't be afraid to make multiple adjustments in 2:1 ratios, either left or right directions, with your feet and eyes at the target area until you achieve a desired result. Sometimes moving the feet 4 boards and the eyes 2 boards is required to make the necessary angle adjustment so your ball hits the pocket squarely. In some cases, greater adjustments are needed such as 6:3 or perhaps 8:4 adjustments. If your ball misses the head pin entirely either direction, expect to make angle adjustments at a minimum of 4:1 ratios, perhaps even in greater ratios. Also, please expect to make angle adjustments while you bowl or when you change lanes.

Your feet are not nailed to the floor - do not fear making angle adjustments but do remember to try and follow these recommended techniques so your ability to hit the pocket consistently improves over time. Do not be afraid to practice these angle adjustments during practice session (open play) by sweeping the practice lane both right and left directions in prescribed ratios so you emulate changing conditions in your competitions and making angle adjustments an easy process.

We hope these tips help you learn how to make adjustments on the lanes.

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